Formerly a resident of a brownstone townhouse, Daniel Day knew all about the effervescence of suburban New York fashion in the 1980's. And rightly so because he was one of its spearheads: “My story with fashion is directly linked to that of hip-hop,” he explains. Born in the ghetto, Daniel Day, his real name, opened a little boutique determined to make it big. Very quickly he established a name for himself by hijacking the logos of the biggest brands (Louis Vuitton, Gucci, Fendi…) and producing unusual pieces inspired by Zairian wax fabrics. Designer to the stars, the owner of Dapper Dan’s Boutique dressed sportspeople and rappers alike before embarking on made-to-measure. “Dap” totally tapped into the original bling era, when extravagance reined supreme in the streets of Harlem. The modest store metamorphosed into a luxury business.
With the boot clearly on the other foot now, Gucci was heavily influenced by Dapper Dan for its most recent resort show in May, and today the brand is opening its own creative workshop north of Manhattan. The den of “Made in Harlem” fashion is adopting a contemporary style all while conserving, as a sort of tribute, the Dapper Dan’s Boutique label. By joining forces with the designer, Gucci is retaining the excitement that pervaded the streets in the 80s. The Dapper Dan’s Boutique is now a workshop on Lenox Avenue, the fruits of an encounter between Alessandro Michele’s aesthetic and the spirit of Dapper Dan. Clients can order made-to-measure pieces created from Gucci fabrics. A vibrant venue with a vintage ambiance, velvet lined screens, cherry red woodwork, leather and wood furniture and framed photographs of the workshop’s golden age. Having fallen out of favour, Dapper Dan had shut up shop in 1992. But now he's back with a bang and to accompany this inauguration, Gucci is launching a Gucci x Dapper Dan capsule collection set to be part of the fall 2018 collection.
Opening of the new Dapper Dan’s Boutique in January 2018. Harlem, New York. Creations strictly by appointment only.